Riding The SEO Tiger
SEO is not an exact science. No matter how hard you try, how strictly you adhere to Google’s best practice guidelines or how engaging the content you write, there is no way of guaranteeing positive results. Most of the time, you will see increases in rankings and positions but there are so many variables, it sometimes only takes one thing to prevent a campaign from being as successful as it should be.
Undo the Bad
When this happens, it’s time to break down the elements of a web site one-by-one and see what can be improved. Is the URL structure as good as it can be? Does it use https? Are there any potentially harmful links holding the site back? Sometimes working out what is wrong is more important than focusing on doing the right things and nine times out of 10, the problems stem from bad practices by a client’s previous marketing company – with or without the client’s knowledge.
Adapting to Change
Such things can be frustrating for an SEO, especially when a problem is noticed several months into a campaign and work has already been carried out. It’s even more frustrating when a long-term plan has been put together and has to be changed on the fly but that’s a big part of having success in SEO. You need to be adaptable. You need to be aware of algorithm changes and the effect they could have on the work you’re doing. SEO is a constantly changing and evolving business and standing still means you’re effectively going backwards.
The Google Jigsaw
Google constantly updates its algorithm with changes these days generally made in real time, rather than the big updates of the past that would take place every few months and send SEOs into a frenzy as they saw rankings bouncing up and down all over the place. Such events still happen when a major update rolls out but the immediate effects seem to be less than in previous years. That gives us more time to react but it helps to be prepared in the first place. That means being aware of what search engines are doing and to a certain extent, second guessing what they’re planning to do, whether it’s listening intently to what key figures are saying publicly, taking notice of what the SEO community is reporting from personal experience and trying to identify trends that may be developing. Imagine having a jigsaw puzzle with hundreds of pieces and not actually knowing what the final picture is supposed to look like. That’s pretty much what SEO is like. We’re constantly blindfolded as the search engines never make it clear how the algorithms work – they just give us a few hints to point us in the right direction while we feel our way along the walls and try not to fall over.
Hold On Tight!
Even then, what Google says and what Google actually does aren’t always the same. In our experience, there has often been something of a time delay between Google advising SEOs to do things a certain way and actually seeing positive results in terms of rankings having done what was advised. It’s all part of riding the SEO tiger. It’s a wild ride and you never quite know where you’re heading. You just have to hang on and using your knowledge, experience and a little bit of luck here and there, try and keep pointing in the right direction without falling off.